Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Get Rollins Out Of There

David Murphy makes me a little nuts in today’s PDN:
It was difficult not to look at the box score and see the top of the Phillies' lineup, particularly the very top, where Jimmy Rollins ended a four-game benching with an 0-for-5 night that included two strikeouts, two groundouts and a pop-up.

Manuel gave the verbal equivalent of a shrug when asked about Rollins' performance. At this point there isn't much more to say, isn't much more to do except wait for the 2007 National League MVP to emerge from his epic funk.
I realize David is utilizing some hyperbole here- but as Rollins recent mini-vacation proved, the Phillies don’t need to sit around and “wait”.

They have options. Frankly, Jimmy ought to be about fifteen more pathetic at-bats away from being asked to take the Brett Myers road: take one for the team via a little detour to AAA ball to get himself figured out.

Frankly, if Rollin comes out of the gate here and still struggles- all that means is Jimmy again needs to try to play rather than rest in order to get himself straightened out. And the Phillies can’t banish him to the bench or AAA for more than a week because they have zero credible everyday shortstop options. But if there was ever a guy who needed 25 at-bats somewhere else, Jimmy Rollins is it.

He isn’t going to fix it here. Frankly, he’s been declining weekly since his MVP award. Last year, he missed 35 games, hit 11 HRs, hit .277 and an OBP under .350. And this year he is a disaster.

The one good thing about this slump and the team’s recent swoon is that so much can be laid at the feet of the most misbegotten experiment of the last three years: Jimmy Rollins, Lead-Off Hitter. This killer three year experiment is probably, finally, a week from being over- and Rollins can begin his half-decade as a bottom of the order (sixth, seventh) National League hitter. He might actually help there with 11HRs and .277 average- numbers more in line with what the Phillies can expect going forward.